So, I’m cruising along my Pinterest feed the other day and I stumbled upon a recipe for orecchiette pasta.

A pasta recipe with this main ingredient: pistachio nuts.

Now lemme tell you. I can barrel through a bag of salted pistachio nuts — shells on — in less time than it would take the average person to do, well, almost anything. They’re goooooood.

Orecchiette With Pistachios - a great flavor combo, enhanced with heaps of Parmesan. Yum!
The thought of marrying pistachios with pasta seemed both odd and divine. I mean, nuts and noodles aren’t an unfamiliar flavor combo. One of my favorite Asian dishes is noodles with peanut sauce and heaps of crushed peanuts!

Orecchiette With Pistachios - a great flavor combo, enhanced with heaps of Parmesan. Yum!

But I’m typically used to seeing pistachios with sweet recipes, like cookies and cakes. Or, chocolate-y concoctions and rich, creamy ice cream.

I found the recipe in question here, and Ashley (from that blog) found the recipe in a cookbook called The Frankies Sputino – Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual.

The recipe is simple to make, and delightful to eat — and perhaps even better the next day for leftovers! I’ve enjoyed it as-is, and I’ve added seared shrimp. I’ve eaten it piping hot, and at room temp. It’s a super versatile dish!

Orecchiette With Pistachios - a great flavor combo, enhanced with heaps of Parmesan. Yum!

There’s lots of love for pistachios and pasta (and plenty of Parmesan), it seems!

Orecchiette With Pistachios
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 pound dry orecchiette
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups salted pistachios, roughly chopped (Tip: buy them already shelled!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  1. Fill a large pot with water, add the salt and then bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the orechiette and cook until it’s al dente, about 11 minutes, then drain it. (Don’t forget to save 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the orecchiette!) Add the pasta back to the pot and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Combine the olive oil, garlic, mint, cheese and pistachios in a mixing bowl, and then add the mixture to the orecchiette, along with the pasta water. Keep stirring until it’s mixed well and a creamy sauce starts to develop.
  4. Fold in the onions, and then serve the pasta warm with extra cheese and mint for garnish.
Grilled shrimp or chicken would be a great addition!


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